26th Oct2012

THS golf tournament

by Ken Clarke

HAMPSTEAD – The Fifth annual golf tournament to benefit the Topsail High School baseball and softball program is just weeks away.

The fifth annual tournament will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Topsail Greens with tee off starting at 9 a.m.

For those looking to sponsor a hole it is only $100.

The cost to play in the event is only $60 a person, for a four man team. Those teeing it up will receive a free lunch along with the a chance to receive door prizes such as free lunhes, THS gear, rounds of golf, pro golf lessons and much more. There will also be raffle prizes such as autograph baseball items, a weekend mountain getaway, free duck mount, golf foursomes and much more.

Those interested in sponsorship or just playing can make a check out to Topsail High School and mail it to Kathy Hazel at PO Box 388 Hampstead NC 28443.

Deadline for reservations is Oc. 20.

26th Oct2012

Lady Patriots advance to 4th round of playoffs
with 3-0 win over Lakewood

by Lee Wagner

BURGAW – Three times previously this year the volleyball teams from Pender and Lakewood High Schools have met, and three times the games have gone either four or five games (twice) so it was not a stretch – as everyone filed into the Pender gymnasium on Thursday night – to assume there was going to be one heck of a volleyball match between these two conference foes whose playoff history dates back to 2007.

Add in the fact that Lakewood eliminated Pender 3-2 in the third round of the 2011 NCHSAA 1A state playoffs, and there certainly was a revenge factor on the table.

But the Lady Patriots had other things on their minds, and they came out and executed in the first game of the match with a precision that prompted Coach Matt Davis to proclaim, after the contest was over, “That was probably our best game all year.”

Amazingly – to both coaches involved and most of the fans in the stands regardless of their loyalty – there was no fourth or fifth game this time, and the Lady Patriots live to play another day while the Lady Leopards can begin concentrating on the upcoming basketball season.

Senor Kayvia Thompson made a huge statement in the first game with eight kills, accumulating 15 kills on the evening to go along with five aces and six digs, and junior setter Jackie Sanabria had 29 assists, two digs, an ace, and a kill as Pender defeated Lakewood 3-0 (25-11, 25-22, 25-21) on Thursday in the third round of the NCHSAA 1A state playoffs on the Ray Horton Volleyball Court.

Pender (23-5), the No. 1 seed out of the Tri-County 1A Conference, now goes on the road for the first time in the playoffs on Saturday, traveling to face Princeton (16-6), the top-seeded team out of the Carolina Conference. Princeton advanced with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-19) win over Southwest Onslow.

There was some speculation (and rumor) that the NCHSAA was going to postpone all athletic events on Saturday due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Sandy. That would potentially move Saturday’s volleyball playoff games to Monday, and Tuesday’s playoff games to Wednesday, but no official decision had been made when this story was posted.

Lakewood’s season ends with a 22-3 record – all three losses coming at the hands of the Lady Patriots.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Davis said. “The girls came out and played, they were ready to go. The whole team had a bad night serving in our last match (a 3-0 win over Dixon), and when (Cassidy) Miller came out and strung those early points together on the first service it seemed to give them added confidence.

“They just believed. I told them before the game they didn’t have to make any all-star plays, just do what they had done all year, and they went out and did that.”

Cassidy, a junior, was the server at the beginning of the first game but Thompson was the hammer. The talented, high-flying Lady Patriot senior had all four offensive points (kills) in the opening five-point surge, then added three more big hits in a four-point burst that moved the score from 13-4 to 17-4 before a kill by Lakewood’s Rashyda Brown ended the string.

In between those two runs was a spurt of six points with Sanabria on serve. Senior K. B. Hansley had a pair of kills, sophomore Brianna Pittman had a block, and Alyssa Carter had a kill in that run. Pender cruised to a 14-point victory from there, with a kill by Carter ending the game.

“At the beginning of the game I thought, ‘Here we go again,’ but I was praying and hoping it wouldn’t happen again,” said Hansley, referring to last year’s elimination

at the hands of the Lady Leopards. “We came out tonight and we fought, and we fought, and we fought some more and, in that first game, every time they got a point we got two or three or more. We played our hearts out tonight.”

In between the first and second games Davis was overheard cautioning his girls that Lakewood would not fold the tent, and that his girls had to be ready to play hard. His premonition was right, and his girls did.

The second game was tied six times, the last at 14-14 when a five-point surge with Miller serving brought the Lady Patriots back from a 14-11 deficit –catapulting them into a 16-14 lead.

The Lady Leopards never got any closer than 16-15 as Pender had four-straight two-point serves compared to just two for Lakewood in winning the second game by three points.

The third game was tied at 2-2 before Thompson went back to serve and she recorded all five of her aces in a nine-point surge that produced an 11-2 advantage. Pittman added a block in the run.

But the Lady Leopards hung tough, getting runs of three, four, and three as they tried to keep the match alive. But, in the end, the Lady Patriots were just a little too strong and Hansley closed out the game, and the match, with a kill.

“Our game plan was to come in and control their serving game, and we did that,” said Lakewood Coach Sheila Davidson in a post-game interview with the Sampson Independent. “They aced us eight (actually nine) times in three games but our offense was inaccurate. We were just all over the place. Our hitters hit in the same spot and didn’t have the opportunity to hit the opposite direction. We just didn’t have the opportunity to fire away.

“I wish we had played all three games with the intensity that we played in the middle part and end of the third game. Our girls had game point five or six times and we kept winning the point. We had a more composed hunger than earlier when it was more of a chaotic hunger.”

Davidson did speak to Davis after the game, wishing Pender luck and saying she would be following their progress and rooting for them the rest of the way – a class act from an excellent – and classy – coach and person.

Lakewood      11-22-21

Pender            25-25-25

Pender: Kayvia Thompson 15 kills, 5 aces, 6 digs; K. B. Hansley 9 kills, 2 aces, 8 digs; Brianna Pittman 5 kills, 9 blocks; Alyssa Carter 5 kills, 1 assist, 4 digs; Jackie Sanabria 29 assists, 2 digs, 1 ace, 1 kill; Cassidy Miller 1 kill, 1 block, 5 digs; Ruby Gasca 6 digs; Brenee’ Jones 2 blocks, 1 dig.

Lakewood: Bailey Dudley 2 kills, 1 block; Rashyda Parker 2 kills, 1 block; Morgan Herring 3 kills, 1 ace; Teisha Rich 3 kills, 1 ace; Ashton Hairr 1 block; Jackie Severance 1 kill.

26th Oct2012

Lady Pirates down Croatan, advance to fourth
round of NCHSAA 2A playoffs

by Lee Wagner

HAMPSTEAD – After 14 games in the regular season and three games in the NCHSAA 2A state playoffs, the Topsail High School volleyball team is still unbeaten against East Central 2A Conference foes, and now they have to do it one more time to get to the 2A regional final.

In an unusual series of matchups, the Lady Pirates beat conference foes Clinton 3-0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-4), South Lenoir 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-17), and Croatan to open the playoffs, and up next is East Duplin – easily the second-best East Central 2A Conference team behind the Lady Pirates.

Fortunately, and thanks to their first-place finish, those first three games were at home, and now the Lady Panthers of Coach Elizabeth Turner must come to Hampstead.

As any coach will tell you, it’s usually tough to beat an opponent three times in a season, but the Lady Pirates have done it three times, so far. They just have to be ready to do it a fourth time.

Senior Carlie Smith had 12 service points, 21 kills, three blocks, and 20 digs in an effort to keep her senior season alive, and the Lady Pirates needed all of those statistics as Topsail defeated Croatan 3-0 (25-12, 25-23, 28-26) on Thursday in the third round of the NCHSAA 2A state volleyball playoffs.

Topsail (22-3) is now scheduled to play host to East Duplin (21-2) on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. The Lady Panthers advanced with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-21) road win over Providence Grove (23-7), the top-seeded team out of the Mid-State Conference. Croatan’s season ended with a 13-9 record.

East Duplin’s only two losses this year have come at the hands of the Lady Pirates – 3-0 (25-20-25-15, 25-25) at East Duplin on Sept. 4, and 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-23) in Hampstead on Sept. 27.

“I’m looking forward to it (a match vs. Topsail), and my girls are looking forward to it,” said East Duplin Coach Elizabeth Turner in an interview with the Jacksonville Daily News after the Lady Panthers’ win over Providence Grove. “The fact that they’ve beaten us twice this year gives us nothing but motivation. We’re ready.”

However, there is some speculation that all of Saturday’s games involving Pender County teams (Pender is alive in 1A) may be postponed to Monday in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. If that is the case Tuesday’s playoff games could be rescheduled for Wednesday. A decision will be made somewhere around 10:30 p.m. tonight (Friday).

Topsail had beaten Croatan 3-0 (25-9, 25-21, 25-20) back on Sept. 13 in Hampstead, and won the conference rematch 3-0 (25-17, 25-10, 25-19) in Ocean on Oct. 9, but this time the Lady Cougars made things a little bit tougher on the Lady Pirates.

“They definitely played better than they did the first two times we faced them,” Topsail coach Hill Pearsall said.

Not so much in the first game as the Lady Pirates hung a14-point defeat on the Lady Cougars. But the second game was close throughout, ending in a two point Topsail victory. The third game went into overtime with Topsail again prevailing by two.

Croatan          12-23-26

Topsail            25-25-25

Topsail: Kayla Hyatt 2 points, 9 kills, 2 blocks, 10 digs; Sammie Proulx 6 points, 4 digs; Reagan Holloway 7 points, 2 kills, 12 digs; Sarah Woodward 6 points 1 kill, 3 digs; Angie Poage 14 points, 1 kill, 34 assists, 11 digs; Carlie Smith 12 points, 21 kills, 3 blocks, 20 digs; Summer Darnell 3 points, 5 kills, 4 digs; Lacey Akerley 3 kills; Chandler Skipper 15 digs.

Croatan: Mayfield 9 kills; Perry 18 assists; Ryan 19 digs; Stevens 12 digs.

26th Oct2012

Week 9 area high school football previews

by Lee Wagner

Each Friday Topsail News Online’s Lee Wagner will give a breakdown of each game our four local high school football teams will play. The feature will include breakdowns for not only our local team but their opponents. Stay tuned each week


WHERE & WHEN: At Pender High School, Burgaw, 7:30 p.m.

COACHES: Pender – Tony Hudson, 2nd year (76-13); Trask – Bill Mercier (0-6).

SEASON’S RECORD: Pender is 4-5 with wins over Lakewood (38-17), Midway (46-13), Hobbton (52-0), and Topsail (22-20), and loses to WRH (28-14), James Kenan (40-20), Union (35-28), Whiteville (41-18), and North Brunswick (21-16). Trask is 0-9 after a 63-0 loss to James Kenan, a 41-0 loss to Union, a 24-6 loss to Hobbton, a 38-0 loss to WRH, a 27-3 loss to Lakewood, a 22-19 loss to Midway, a 42-14 loss to Ashley, a 26-14 loss to North Brunswick and a 16-13 loss to Topsail.

LAST PLAYED: Pender beat Trask 30-28 on Oct. 28, 2011.

COMMON OPPONENTS: Both teams have played their entire Tri-County 1A Conference schedule. Pender beat Lakewood, Midway, and Hobbton, and lost to James Kenan, Wallace-Rose Hill, and Union. Trask has lost all six conference games.

NEXT GAME: Pender & Trask will await NCHSAA 1A playoff bracket selection.

KEY PLAYERS FOR PENDER: Soph. FB Sam Dixon, QB Nickey Wells, OL/DL Kymothy Murphy, OL/DL Jacob Dew, RB/LB Caleb Johnson, WR/S Rashawn Deloach, RB/CB Julius Powell, G/DE Zach Jones, T/DE Andre Donaldson

KEY PLAYERS FOR TRASK: WR/FS Arthur Brown, WR/DB Ethan Bishoff, FB/LB Quan Brown, RB/DB Jakita Lane, RB/LB D. J. Love, TE/DE Kemodrick James, T/NG Josh Smith

FOR PENDER TO WIN: Line up and be ready to play and do not look past the Titans. This is a neighborhood rivalry game for bragging rights, and it is Trask’s senior night so they will be primed and ready to play. Run the offense smoothly, get Dixon involved early, and do not turn the ball over. Defensively, stop the run – the Titans have shown no ability to throw the ball s yet.

FOR TRASK TO WIN: Get fired up! This is probably the last game of the season unless a wildcard playoff berth is available to a winless (if they lose to Pender) team, so go all out. Run the ball and find some semblance of a passing game. Defensively, stop Dixon and see what happens.


WHERE & WHEN: At Swansboro High School, Swansboro, 7:30 p.m.

COACHES: Topsail – Bryan Davis, 7th year (39-25); Swansboro – Tim Laspada.

SEASON’S RECORD: Topsail is 6-3 after wins over Richlands (41-6), Croatan (32-14), Clinton (28-14), South Lenoir (47-20), Ashley (26-7), and Trask (16-13), and losses to Pender (22-20), Northside (35-10), and East Duplin (26-21). Swansboro is 4-6 with wins over South Lenoir (34-14), Dixon (30-22), West Carteret (20-13), and Lejeune (27-6), and losses to East Duplin (24-6), Richlands (10-7 Ovt.), Clinton (54-28), Northside (38-0), Croatan (14-13 Ovt.), and Bertie (34-21).

LAST PLAYED: Topsail beat Swansboro 21-0 on Oct. 28, 2011.

COMMON OPPONENTS: Both teams have played their entire East Central 2A Conference schedule. Topsail lost to East Duplin and Northside, and beat South Lenoir, Clinton, Croatan, and Richlands. Swansboro lost to Richlands, Clinton, Northside, Croatan, and East Duplin, and beat South Lenoir.

NEXT OPPONENT: Topsail & Swansboro await NCHSAA 2A playoff bracket selection.

KEY PLAYERS FOR SWANSBORO: Sr. FB/LB Chris Martin, Jr. RB/SS Deandre Thompkins, Jr. QB/CB Chris Phipps, Sr. FB/LB Willie Ware, Jr. RB/LB Shane Hill, Sr. RB/OLB Kyle Lundgren.

KEY PLAYERS FOR TOPSAIL: Sr. RB/OLB Devin Williams, Soph. QB Austin Schoenleber, Sr. QB/WR/OLB Matt Gilgo, Sr. TE/DE Trevor Savidge, Sr. TE/LB Mason Kimmel, Sr. OL/DE Ben Houghton, Jr. OL/LB Jakeem Smith, Sr. PK Alex Webster, RB/LB Josh Jessup, RB Hunter Jacob.

FOR SWANSBORO TO WIN: This band of Pirates put up 235 yards on the ground in 14-13 overtime loss to Croatan, so they can run the ball, and they must do that against a solid Topsail defense in sustaining drives and keeping Pirates’ offense sidelined. Defensively, they held Croatan to minus-15 yards on the ground and that is another must – stop Topsail ground game. Honestly, Swansboro has to play a heck of a game because Topsail has a lot on the line.

FOR TOPSAIL TO WIN: Overcome some injuries sustained in win over Richlands. Pirates are fairly deep at RB so I think they will be okay. Just run the offense the way they did against Richlands and they will be fine, and do the same defensively. Stop Swansboro’s running game and go from there.


WHERE & WHEN: At Lejeune High School, Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m.

COACH: Dixon – Ray Swaney, 4th year (16-27); Lejeune – Darryl Schwartz.

SEASON’S RECORD: Dixon is 6-3 after wins over East Carteret (41-16), Jones Sr. (27-13), Pamlico (37-14), Spring Creek (33-7), Princeton (24-20) and Mattamuskeet (34-0), and losses to Southwest Onslow (48-19), Swansboro (30-22) and North Duplin (28-24). Lejeune is 5-5 with wins over Pamlico (36-14), East Carteret (35-8), Jones, Sr. (20-7), Rosewood (41-15), and Spring Creek (42-14), and losses to Southwest Onslow (51-6), North Duplin (42-35), North Brunswick (54-8), Lakewood (28-8), and Swansboro (27-6).

 LAST PLAYED: Lejeune beat Dixon 47-30 on Oct. 28, 2011.

COMMON OPPONENTS: Both teams have played their entire Coastal Plains 1A Conference schedule. Both have lost to SWO, and both have beaten everyone else. Both have beaten Spring Creek and both have lost to Swansboro and North Duplin.

NEXT GAME: Dixon & Lejeune await NCHSAA 1A playoff bracket selection.

KEY PLAYERS FOR LEJEUNE: RB Jamaz Richardson, FB Stephen DiCenso, QB Chad Collins, WR Chuckie Murdock.

KEY PLAYERS FOR DIXON: Sr. QB/S C. D. Hansley, Sr. C Travis Padgett, Sr. TE/DE Bryan Moore, Sr. T/DT Austin Rosensteel, Sr. DT Jake Strong, Sr. DT Eric Parker.

FOR LEJEUNE TO WIN: This has all the makings of an offensive shootout. Lejeune has scored 237 points (26.3 per game) and given up 260 (28.8 per game) and Dixon has scored 261 (27.8 per game) and given up 176 (18.5 per game). Richardson is a load and Lejeune ran for 370 yards on 50 carries (7.4 per carry average) in win over Pamlico. They must do that to keep Hansley and the Dixon offense on the bench. Defensively, stop Hansley and the Bulldogs’ ground game

FOR DIXON TO WIN: This one could come down to the better defense and the statistics say it is Dixon, but…………….in order to keep a good Devil Pups offense out of the end zone must top Richardson and Lejeune ground game. Offensively, move the ball, hold onto the pigskin, and finish drives with touchdowns.

24th Oct2012

Lady Patriots beat Dixon 3-0, end Lady Bulldogs’ season

by Lee Wagner

BURGAW – It is a given that when an athletic contest between two teams ends, one is usually declared a winner and one gets the defeat, and that is especially true on the volleyball court.

Tuesday night – in the second round of the NCHSAA 1A state playoffs – two very good local teams met and only one was going to have its season continue and that distinction went to the home team Lady Patriots of Pender High School.

The other team – the Lady Bulldogs of Dixon – headed back to Holly Ridge after the game pondering the “what ifs,” of very good, yet tumultuous season, filled with emotional potholes.

The Lady Bulldogs never quit after one of their better players decided not to participate anymore, and they went on to share the title in the Coastal Plains1A conference with Southwest Onslow before advancing to the second round of the playoffs last night with an opening-round victory.

They showed that same tenacity on Tuesday but they ran into a bigger – and better – team that had just as much desire, and one season (Dixon’s) came to an end while the other team has at least one more night to dream.

Senior Kayvia Thompson and junior Brianna Pittman each had nine kills, and junior Jackie Sanabria had 28 assists as Pender put an end to Dixon’s season with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-17) win on Tuesday in the second round of the NCHSAA 1A state volley playoffs on the Ray Horton Volleyball Court in Burgaw.

Dixon’s season ended with a 12-7 overall record and a 9-1 mark that earned them a share of the Coastal Plains 1A Conference regular-season title. Pender (22-5) lives to play another day, and that one should be a barn-burner as the Lady Patriots, the No. 1 seed out of the conference, will welcome Tri-County 1A Conference foe – and co-champion with Pender – Lakewood to Burgaw on Thursday for a 6:00 p.m. start. The Lady Leopards (22-2), the second seed out of the Tri-County Conference, advanced with a 3-1 (25-7, 25-19, 12-25, 25-18) road win over South Robeson (17-5), the top-seeded team from the Three Rivers Conference.

Pender and Lakewood faced each other three times already. Pender won 3-1 (23-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-23) at Pender on Sept. 13, Lakewood won 3-2 (26-24, 20-25, 25-15, 16-25, 16-14) in Salemburg on Oct. 9, and Pender prevailed – and earned the conference’s top seed – with a 3-2 (20-25, 25-20, 15-25, 25-21, 15-3) win in the conference tournament’s final at Union on Oct. 17.

“Overall I was pleased with what we did,” Pender Coach Matt Davis said. “Our serve let us down big with all the misses (15) but that’s the first time all year that’s happened, and we did not allow those miscues to affect the next play. That is the important part, staying in the game through the tough times.

“Our passing, setting, and hitting were all excellent. To come back and get that second game after being down eight was big. It gave our girls a lot of confidence and shows that they’ll stick together and not quit no matter what the situation.”

The first game was marred by mistakes by Pender that made it difficult to put together that classic run. The Lady Patriots’ usual reliable service game suffered with six misses in the opener, four of which were first serves.

The Lady Patriots passed well, however, and the hitters were finding the floor against a good-passing Dixon team. Sanabria helped break open a close game with five serves that were bolstered by kills from K. B. Hansley, Thompson, Pittman, and Alyssa Carter as Sanabria spread the ball around with her sets.

The momentum of the first game, however, did not translate into any early advantage for Pender in the second game as the Lady Bulldogs stated the second game with a 4-0 lead, extending it to 6-1as Pender continued to miss first serves.

It was 11-4 in Dixon’s favor before a rotation call against Pender made it 12-4 and precipitated a Lady Patriots’ time out. Pender immediately cut the lead in half at 12-8 behind kills from Pittman, Hansley, and Carter.

Pender narrowed the deficit to 15-13, forcing Dixon Coach Heather Moore to use a timeout, but the sense in the Pender gym was the Lady Patriots were not going to be denied.

Carter, of whom Davis said, “May have played her best game of the year,” was strong on serve, and Thompson was huge at the net with her hitting, and the Lady Bulldogs had no answer for her on the front line as she closed out the second-game, three-point win, with four kills.

The third game remained close for a short while. The score climbed into the teens as the Lady Patriots inched away with a point here and two there. Ruby Gasca came up big with consistent serving, as did Sanabria, and that allowed Pender to establish a lead they would not relinquish.

Senior Brenee’ Jones had a big third game with all three of her kills on the night in the game. Dixon did close to within five at 22-17 but junior Cassidy Miller closed out the game at the service line by forcing free balls that Pittman converted into kills.

“Brianna had nine quiet kills and she was matched by Kayvia but, again, K. B. and Alyssa were able to get theirs, to give us nice balance in our attack,” Davis said. “While the stat sheet won’t show it Ruby was really the one that kept us in the game tonight.

“Just when we were struggling with the serve she was able to give us those long runs that forced free balls or passing errors, as well as several aces, to settle us down.”

Moore was gracious in defeat, but disappointed in all of the errors that helped seal the Lady Bulldogs’ doom.

“Pender was really good and they have some fantastic servers, and they are a very good team. I’m not taking anything away from them but we beat ourselves more than they beat us because we made so many unforced errors.”

Dixon              13-22-17

Pender            25-25-25

Pender: Kayvia Thompson 9 kills, 1 ace, 4 digs; K. B. Hansley 6 kills, 1 ace, 5 digs; Brenee’ Jones 3 kills; Ruby Gasca 3 aces, 3 digs; Jackie Sanabria 28 assists, 3 aces, 1 dig; Alyssa Carter 6 kills, 1 block, 4 digs; Brianna Pittman 9 kills, 2 blocks; Cassidy Miller 1 kill, 1 ace, 1 dig.

Dixon: Miranda Davis 3 points, 3 kills, 7 digs, 1 block; Kelsey Pearce 4 points, 5 assists, 6 digs; Darian Meridyth 2 kills, 1 assist, 2 blocks; Allison Brown 3 points, 6 kills, 8 digs; Alyssa Aquafredda 2 kills, 2 digs.

24th Oct2012

Lady Pirates advance to third round of 2A playoffs

by Lee Wagner

HAMPSTEAD – Someone forgot to inform the teams in the East Central 2A Conference the regular season is over, but the conference regular-season champion Topsail High School volleyball team is making sure their seasons are over now – for good.

The Lady Pirates disposed of conference foe Clinton in the first round of the playoffs last Saturday, and had to brace themselves for another conference rematch (third time) with the Lady Blue Devils of South Lenoir.

Since Topsail beat everyone in the conference during the regular season in going 14-0 for the third-straight year, it would have been fairly safe to assume the Lady Pirates could cruise. But in going 14-0 in matches, Topsail also had a 42-2 record in games played – and both of those losses came in 3-1 wins over the Lady Blue Devils.

So the Topsail girls knew they could not take South Lenoir lightly – and even though the Lady Blue Devils were their usual scrappy self – Topsail did not, and next up is yet another conference foe.

Senior Carlie Smith sent an early message to the Lady Blue Devils by scoring the first eight offensive points en route to a match total of 19 kills, five blocks, and 13 digs, and sophomore Kayla Hyatt showed the future of Lady Pirates’ volleyball is in good hands with five kills, two blocks, and 18 digs as Topsail sent South Lenoir back to Deep Run to pack their uniforms in mothballs with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-17) win on Tuesday in the second round of the NCHSAA 2A state volleyball playoffs in Hampstead.


Topsail (21-3) now advances to the third round with another home match on Thursday against conference foe Croatan. The Lady Cougars (13-8), the No. 5 seed out of the conference, beat Bartlett Yancey (8-16), the No. 3-seeded team out of the Mid-State Conference, 3-0.

That means three of the four 2A teams in the fourth round of the East’s lower bracket are from the East Central 2A Conference as No. 2 seed East Duplin (20-2) defeated the Three-Rivers Conference No. 1 seed Fairmont 3-0 (26-24, 25-14, 25-14).

The Lady Panthers will face Providence Grove (23-6), the top-seeded squad out of the Mid-State Conference, on the road on Thursday.

The winners of the Topsail vs. Croatan game and the East Duplin vs. Providence Grove game will meet on Saturday. If Topsail and East Duplin win the game will be at Topsail. If Providence Grove wins the contest will be at Providence Grove in Climax, which is several miles south of Greensboro.

But first, there is the problem of the Lady Cougars – a team Topsail beat 3-0 (25-9, 25-21, 25-20) in Hampstead on Sept. 13, and 3-0 (25-17, 25-10, 25-19) in Ocean on Oct. 9.

“It’s not that tough getting up for teams from the conference we already beat,” Hyatt said. “It’s assuring to know we can beat them but this is the playoffs and you can’t take any team lightly. We know we have to come out and play our game.”

They did that against South Lenoir, and despite a fine defensive effort by the Lady Blue Devils, they made sure there would be no fourth game – or loss – this time.

“They (South Lenoir) play very good defense,” Topsail Coach Hill Pearsall said, “They keep five in the box and put only one blocker at the net. That works in some cases but it opens up the net and we were able to get some big hits.

None were bigger than the four kills that went along with three blocks produced by Smith to open play in the first game of the match. By the time Smith was finished, the Lady Blue Devils were on the short end of a 7-1 score and they really never recovered.

The Topsail advantage mushroomed to 11-2 with Smith adding another kill and an ace. The Lady Pirates were cruising at 17-7 before South Lenoir sent a message it wasn’t going to be that easy with a six-point surge that narrowed the deficit to 17-13. Topsail recovered and made it 19-13 and 23-14 before putting the first-game on the positive side of the win/loss ledger on a kill by Smith and a ball hit out of bounds by South Lenoir.

That small spurt seemed to fire up the Lady Blue Devils and they forged five early ties before Topsail pulled away with a six-point outburst that created a 14-9 lead. Hyatt had a pair of aces, Smith had a kill, and Summer Darnell added a kill in the run.

The Lady Pirates could get no more runs going but South Lenoir did, and they actually led at 22-20 before the Pirates got the serve back with the game tied at 23-23. A kill by Chandler Skipper and another by Reagan Holloway – both juniors – brought a sigh of relief, and a win, to the Topsail bench.

“We knew they were going to be tough and that we couldn’t take them lightly,” Hyatt said. “When they got those runs late we got down on ourselves a little bit but we picked it up and got a big win in that second game.”

Hyatt finished the night with five kills – one of them where she appeared to be suspended in the air before dropping in a soft kill to the right of the South Lenoir defenders – two blocks, and a team-leading 18 digs on the back line.

“Kayla is a fantastic volleyball player,” Pearsall said.

The Lady Pirates opened early leads of 3-1 and 7-2 in the third game to create a feeling of security but the Lady Blue Devils were not done yet. A five-point South Lenoir run closed a 10-3 deficit to 10-8, and it got as close as 11-10 and 12-11 before Topsail opened a little space with a three-pointer behind a kill by Darnell and an ace by Hyatt.

The scoreboard read 17-13 in the Lady Pirates’ favor when a four-point surge – behind two kills from Darnell – made it 21-14. Darnell eventually ended the game, and the match, with a kill for Topsail’s 25th point of the third game.

“Tonight I think we simply hustled harder than they did,” Pearsall said. “There were several rallies that could have gone either way and Angie (Poage) got up some amazing balls and we won them with pure hustle and determination.”

And now, bring on Croatan!

S. Lenoir        15-23-17

Topsail            25-25-25

Topsail: Carlie Smith 7 points, 19 kills, 5 blocks, 2 assists, 13 digs; Reagan Holloway 4 points, 5 kills, 1 ace, 15 digs; Kayla Hyatt 8 points, 5 kills, 4 aces, 2 blocks, ,18 digs; Angie Poage 9 points, 29 assists, 1 ace, 1 kill, 1 block; Sarah Woodward 2 points, 2 kills, 3 assists, 6 digs; Candler Skipper 2 kills, 16 digs; Summer Darnell 15 points, 7 kills, 1 assist, 5 digs.

S. Lenoir: Demeyia Adams 1 kill; Rachel Dawson 9 kills; Whitney Graves 1 ace; Madison Herring 5 kills; Caroline Jones 4 kills, 1 ace; Maecy Croom 1 kill.

23rd Oct2012

Schedule for second round of state volleyball playoffs

by Lee Wagner

After the first round of the state volleyball playoffs three area high schools have moved on but no more than two and no less than one team will advance to the third round as two local schools matchup tonight in the second round of the state playoffs.

Topsail is on tap first with a 6 p.m. start as they host South Lenoir, then over at Pender High School the Lady Patriots will host the Lady Bulldogs of Dixon at 7 p.m.

The following is a schedule of Tuesday night’s games:



No. 2 Dixon (12-7) at No. 1 Pender (21-5), 7:00 p.m.

No. 4 Midway (12-10) at No. 1Princeton (14-6)

No. 2 Rosewood (16-8) at No. 1 Southwest Onslow (16-4)

No. 2 Lakewood (21-2) at No. 1 South Robeson (17-4)


No. 3 South Lenoir (14-9) at No. 1 Topsail (20-3), 6:00 p.m.

No. 2 East Duplin (19-2) at No. 1 Fairmont (13-5)

No. 5 Croatan (12-8) at No. 3 Bartlett-Yancey (8-15)


No. 5 Jacksonville (11-11) at No. 1 South Brunswick (15-4)

No. 2 West Brunswick (14-8) at No. 1 D. H. Conley (24-3)


No. 2 Ashey (167-5) at No. 1 Garner (22-3)

No. 3 Hoggard (17-6) at No. 1 J. R. Rose-Greenville (18-3)

23rd Oct2012

1st annual TIAR Golf Tournament

by Contributor

HAMPSTEAD - The Topsail Island Association of Realtors to host its 1st annual TIAR Golf Tournament to benefit local charities on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Old Point Country Club in Hampstead. Fee includes cart, greens fees, range balls, prizes, lunch and more. Call today to sign up a team, sponsor or donate a prize: 910-329-1406.

22nd Oct2012

Lady Bulldogs tame Lady Tigers to open playoffs,
head to Pender for second round

by Lee Wagner

HOLLY RIDGE – Last year (2011) the Dixon High School volleyball team finished with a 14-7 record, advancing to the third round of the NCHSAA 1A state playoffs before falling 3-1 to Princeton in Coach Heather Moore’s first year as coach after replacing Fay Hall.

That success continued this season as the Lady Bulldogs were co-champions of the Coastal Plains 1A Conference (with Southwest Onslow), finished the regular season with an 11-7 record, and have now advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

This time, however, the road to the third round appears to be a bit bumpier as the Lady Bulldogs – the No. 2 seed out of the Coastal Plains Conference – must now head to Burgaw for a second-round match with the Lady Patriots of Pender, the top seed out the very tough Tri-County 1A Conference.

Still, a playoff win is a playoff win, and for a few days at least the Lady Bulldogs can enjoy the one they have.

Senior Kelsey Pearce had eight digs, seven assists, three service points, three kills, and a pair of aces in an all-around complete game to lead Dixon to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 26-24) win over James Kenan on Saturday in the opening round of the NCHSA 1A state playoffs in Holly Ridge.

The Lady Bulldogs (12-6) will now head to Burgaw for a game with the tall, talented, and hard-hitting Lady Patriots (21-5), whose losses have come to 2A power Topsail (twice), 4A Hoggard, 4A Laney (they beat them the second time), 3A West Brunswick (they also avenged that loss), and conference foe Lakewood (21-2). Lakewood’s only two losses this year were to Pender, and they are in the second round of the playoffs after a 3-0 spanking of Ayden-Grifton.

The winner of Tuesday’s game between Dixon and Pender will face Lakewood should they dispose of second-round foe South Robeson on Tuesday.

“I had a good feeling about today’s game, they seemed ready to play and they were unified, Dixon Coach Heather Moore said.”

James Kenan, as they had proven during the Tri-County 1A Conference season, proved to be a scrappy team and they were in a 10-10 deadlock with the Lady Bulldogs in the opening game before senior Miranda Davis took over the service.

Dixon – behind four aces from Davis and a pair of blocks by Bailie Saeger – went on an 11-3 run that produced a 21-12. An ace by Pearce put the first game in the victory column.

The Lady Tigers did not have the luxury of even staying close with Dixon in the second game that the Lady Bulldogs led start-to-finish. A 12-3 run that included two kills from Davis and a pair of aces from senior Kellie Peterson put Dixon in the envious position of leading two-games-to-none.

Dixon led 24-17 at one point in the third game but James Kenan fought back and forged a tie at 24-24 on an unforced Lady Bulldogs’ error. But a ball hit into the net by the Lady Tigers and a kill by senior Allison Brown produced the two-point, third-game victory, and ended the match.

“I thought we played well,” Moore said. “The hitters and the setters were connecting, and a lot of our hitters were on, and we had some good blocks although they didn’t get a lot of good hits on us.”

J. Kenan         19-12-24

Dixon              25-25-26

Dixon: Kelsey Pearce 3 points, 3 kills,  7 assists, 8 digs; Miranda Davis 9 points, 0 kills, 1 block, 15 digs; Caitlin Trexel 14 points, 2 aces, 4 digs; Allison Brown 3 points, 3 kills, 1 block, 5 digs.

22nd Oct2012

Spartans blank Titans at home

by Lee Wagner

ROCKY POINT – It just isn’t getting any better for the Trask High School football team when you consider they were routed by a rather mundane 5-4 football team this past Friday, and chance are very good that it will get worse this week when the Titans travel to Warsaw for a conference battle with unbeaten 8-0, 5-0) James Kenan on their own turf on their Senior Night.

The one thing the Titans (0-8 0-5) can hope for is the Tigers will be looking past them and that James Kenan Coach Ken Avent, Jr. decides to rest a lot of his starters in anticipation of the showdown the next week against rival Wallace-Rose Hill.

But after what happened this past Friday maybe the only thing the Titans can hope for is the players don’t fold the tent even before the opening whistle. It’s been that tough of a season.

Union’s Hagan Thornton took a blocked punt 75 yards for a touchdown, and later returned an interception 50 yards for a score as Union whitewashed Trask 41-0 on Friday in a Tri-county 1A Conference football game in Titantown.

The Titan offense could manage just 127 yards against the Spartans’ defense – 114 of those yards on the ground as the Trask passing game once again made the offense one dimensional.

Late in the first quarter Trask lined up for a field goal but it was blocked and Thornton scooped up the bouncing ball and returned it 75 yards to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead with 5:15 left in the opening period.

Less than four minutes later Spartan Bakeem Murphey made it 14-0 with a five-yard touchdown run. The lead mushroomed to 21-0 when Murphey broke off a 65-yard scoring jaunt with 2:40 until intermission.

Thornton all but put the exclamation mark on the win when he picked off an errant Titan pass and pranced 50 yards into the end zone in producing a 27-0 Union lead.

A 37-yard scoring run and a 42-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter accounted for the final lopsided score.

Union              14-7-6-14=41

Trask                0-0-0-  0-  0

First Quarter

Union – Hagan Thornton 75 with blocked punt (Kick good), 5:15

Union – Bakeem Murphey 5 run (Kick good), 0:44

Second Quarter

Union – Bakeem Murphey 65 run (Kick good), 2:40

Third Quarter

Union – Hagan Thornton 50 interception return (Kick failed), 4:01

Fourth Quarter

Union – 37-yard run (Kick good), 10:15

Union – 42-yard run (kick good), 8:00

Statistics: Rushing – Trask: Dalen Faison 21-67, Dashawn Walker 14-40, Jakita Lane 7-7. Union: Bakeem Murphey 6-66, Daniel Glover 3-56. Passing – Trask: Dashawn Walker 2-4-13. Union: Alfredo Garcia 3-7-75. Receiving – Trask: Austin Richardson 1-3, Kemodrick James 1-10. Union: Ryan Hall 1-23, Daniel Glover 1-22. Defense – Trask: Arthur Brown 3 tackles, interception; Austin Richardson 3 tackles; D. J. Love 4 tackles, interception; Jakita Lane 2 tackles; Kemodrick James 7 tackles, caused fumble; Rakeus Graham 1 tackle; Ruben Chavez 3 tackles, fumble recovery; Jordan Davis 4 tackles; Allen Lee 7 tackles; Brandon Gardner 1 tackle; Sam McFee 5 tackles, interception; Jervon Faison  2 tackles. Union: Hagan Thornton 6 tackles, blocked punt returned for touchdown, interception returned for touchdown; Justin Smith 9.5 tackles, 3 sacks; Anfernee Cromartie 15.5 tackles, 1 sack, 3 fumble recoveries.